hen they brought him back home, she swore. She used every blue word in the
book. She said things that would make sailors head for the desert. It didn’t
seem to matter anymore. Cursings and blessings had been a mixed bag for the
two of them. She had no idea which one they were now.
They had a few wonderful years. At first they stayed awake day and night, enjoying the kind of delirious love only the sleep-deprived can understand. Each passing of day and night, they felt desperate. They clung to each other like ivy on a crumbling wall.
Then they fought. You’re always pecking at me, he complained, playing the sharp consonants of the word with beaked fingers. She grew to hate the way he ate. Close your mouth if you’re going to wolf it down like that, she’d say. They were always careful to choose the words that could do the most damage. It was the kind of instinct common to beasts of prey.
In the end he started taking long walks at night. He’d stay out longer and longer. She’d lie awake in bed, listening for the sound of him on the path. Two legs or four tonight, she’d wonder.
Then one night he didn’t come back.
Two brothers found him in a field down the road, humping a sheep, and put two arrows in him. Strange, they said. Usually wolves go for the throat. When the dawn broke like an old egg on the hills and he turned back into a man, they felt rather awkward.
They carried him back home in a wheelbarrow, but she wouldn’t let his body in the house. Bury him in the yard, she said. That’s what you do with dogs.
Remember when you were a minipop, and you saw that film, you know, the one you loved that never had a sequel? Well, let's say it did. And it was just like you imagined it, only a little bit worse.